This could be Rotterdam, or anywhere
June 18, 2017 4:46 AM   Subscribe

“It’s in our genes,” he said. “Water managers were the first rulers of the land. Designing the city to deal with water was the first task of survival here and it remains our defining job. It’s a process, a movement. “It is not just a bunch of dikes and dams, but a way of life.”
How the Dutch are Hansje Brinker proofing their cities.
posted by MartinWisse (14 comments total) 21 users marked this as a favorite
This is really interesting stuff! Is it really true that New York hasn't done anything to prepare for future storms like Hurricane Sandy even after the subways filled with water?
posted by DoctorFedora at 5:00 AM on June 18, 2017

I believe New York is in discussions about the process of preparing to prepare (because city government is complicated when it involves two state governments, the federal government, plus agencies like the Port Authority and the MTA).
posted by kokaku at 5:18 AM on June 18, 2017 [1 favorite]

I was just talking this week with a colleague about our parking deck being intended as an emergency reservoir! (I suppose he must have beaten me to this article.) I hadn't thought about it before (other than in general "this seems like a bad idea ...?" terms, same with the Metro) but it really makes total sense.
posted by sldownard at 5:48 AM on June 18, 2017

If the US would start devoting one percent (proportionally) of the energy and focused resources towards resiliency that the Netherlands has done, we would be seeing amazing things.

But science, engineering, and big infrastructure projects take a lot of time, and every year that we do nothing is a year we will never get back. It is frustrating.
posted by Dip Flash at 6:14 AM on June 18, 2017 [11 favorites]

New York has a serious problem because so much of their critical infrastructure is underground, so many of the entrances to the underground system need to be open and accessible, and it only takes one failure to flood the whole thing. This is one problem cities like Rotterdam and New Orleans don't have.
posted by Bringer Tom at 6:25 AM on June 18, 2017 [1 favorite]

Excellent reporting from The New York Times. Parts 1 and 2 of this series are also worth a look:

Part 1: Mexico City

Part 2: China's Pearl River Delta
posted by cynical pinnacle at 6:41 AM on June 18, 2017 [2 favorites]

This is one problem cities like Rotterdam and New Orleans don't have.

Rotterdam does have a metro system.
posted by Pendragon at 7:12 AM on June 18, 2017 [5 favorites]

Rotterdam does have a metro system.

I would guess that it isn't the single point of failure for every form of infrastructure that New York's underground is. It's also possible to design underground access ways so that they can be protected, but retrofitting New York's subway access points in such ways would be enormously expensive if possible at all.
posted by Bringer Tom at 7:52 AM on June 18, 2017

While the US is stalled by the wealthy protecting individual and corporate wealth and cutting taxes, many countries are creating jobs, developing technology, and preparing for the actual future and the common good.
posted by theora55 at 10:12 AM on June 18, 2017 [19 favorites]

At least they have a handle on infrastructure. Climate change and its intersection with infrastructure erosion through austerity is where capitalism is going to kill most of us.
posted by Artw at 11:35 AM on June 18, 2017 [5 favorites]

Capitalism only cares about the surge pricing on Gondolubers from the NYSE after the bell rings. It's outrageous!
posted by adept256 at 12:58 PM on June 18, 2017 [1 favorite]

Huh, interesting. Now I'm going to have to go watch videos of the gate opening and closing.

PS I see what you did there with the TBS lyrics!
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 5:35 PM on June 18, 2017 [1 favorite]

Bonus points for the title! Now I'll have that song stuck in my head.
posted by gingerbeer at 10:26 PM on June 18, 2017

Fascinating piece, thanks for linking.

I wish the article had gone into perhaps more abstract discussions with but important, about if - and how - the govt seems to have largely avoided regulatory capture and broader neo liner thrust. I wonder if support is so unanimous.

Bummer so much of this discussion seems to be about America, rather than the Netherlands.
posted by smoke at 10:40 PM on June 18, 2017

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